The contributors here show that Leibniz's 'rationalism' is not restricted to a concern with expanding and applying a logical and mathematical model of thought and action. They show the variety of models Leibniz's rationalism develop, combine, and make use of.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was an outstanding contributor to many fields of human knowledge. The historiography of philosophy has tagged him as a "rationalist". But what does this exactly mean? Is he a "rationalist" in the same sense in Mathematics and Politics, in Physics and Jurisprudence, in Metaphysics and Theology, in Logic and Linguistics, in Technology and Medicine, in Epistemology and Ethics? What are the most significant features of his "rationalism", whatever it is?
For the first time an outstanding group of Leibniz researchers, some acknowledged as leading scholars, others in the beginning of a promising career, who specialize in the most significant areas of Leibniz's contributions to human thought and action, were requested to spell out the nature of his rationalism in each of these areas, with a view to provide a comprehensive picture of what it amounts to, both in its general drive and in its specific features and eventual inner tensions.
The chapters of the book are the result of intense discussion in the course of an international conference focused on the title question of this book, and were selected in view of their contribution to this topic. They are clustered in thematically organized parts. No effort has been made to hide the controversies underlying the different interpretations of Leibniz's "rationalism" - in each particular domain and as a whole. On the contrary, the editor firmly believes that only through a variety of conflicting interpretive perspectives can the multi-faceted nature of an oeuvre of such a magnitude and variety as Leibniz's be brought to light and understood as it deserves.
Abbreviations.- Introduction.- Part I: Reinterpreting Leibniz's Rationalism?.- 1. Leibniz' rationalism: A plea against equating soft and hard rationality; Heinrich Schepers.- 2. Leibniz's multi-purpose dialectics; Marcelo Dascal.- 3. Leibniz's rationality: Divine intelligibility and human intelligibility; Ohad Nachtomy.- Part II: Natural Sciences and Mathematics.- 4. De abstracto et concreto: Empirical science and rationalism in Leibniz; Philip Beeley.- 5. Leibniz against the unreasonable Newtonian physics; Laurence Bouquiaux.- 6. Hermetic rationalism: Some hermetic aspects of Leibniz's mathematical rationalism; Bernardino Orio de Miguel.- 7. Symbolic inventiveness and 'irrational' practices in Leibniz's mathematics; Michel Serfati.- 8. The art of mathematical rationality; Herbert Breger.- Part III: Epistemology.- 9. Ramus and Leibniz on analysis; Andreas Blank.- 10. Locke, Leibniz, and Hume on form and experience; Emily Rolfe Grosholz.- 11. Leibniz's conception of natural explanation; Marta de Mendonça.- 12. The role of metaphor in Leibniz's epistemology; Cristina Marras.- 13. What is the foundation of knowledge? Leibniz and the amphibology of intuition; Marine Picon.- Part IV: Law.- 14. Leibniz: What kind of legal rationalism?; Pol Boucher.- 15. Two argumentative uses of the notion of uncertainty in Leibniz's De conditionibus; Alexandre Thiercelin.- 16. Contingent propositions and Leibniz's analysis of juridical dispositions; Evelyn Vargas.- 17. Leibniz on natural law in the Nouveaux Essais; Patrick Riley.- Part V: Ethics.- 18. Authenticity or autonomy? Leibniz and Kant on practical rationality; Carl J. Posy.- 19. The place of the other in Leibniz's rationalism;Noa Naaman.- 20. Morality and feeling: Genesis and determination of the will in Leibniz; Adelino Dias Cardoso.- 21. Leibniz and moral rationality; Martine de Gaudemar.- Part VI: Decision Making.- 22. Leibniz's models of rational decision; Markku Roinila.- 23. Electing the King of Poland: From the concatenation of proofs to a calculus of decisions; Jérémie Griard.- 24. Declarative vs. procedural rules for religious controversies: Leibniz's rational approach to heresy; Frédéric Nef.- 25. Apology for a credo maximum: Three basic rules in Leibniz's method of religious controversy; Mogens Laerke.- Part VII: Religion and Theology.- 26. Convergence or genealogy? Leibniz and the spectre of Pagan rationality; Justin E. H. Smith.- 27. 'Paroles entièrement destituées de sens': 'Pathic reason' in the Théodicée; Giovanni Scarafile.- 28. The authority of the Bible and the authority of Reason in Leibniz's ecumenical argument; Hartmut Rudolph.- 29. Leibniz on creation: A contribution to his philosophical theology; Daniel Cook.- Part VIII: The Metaphysics of Rationality.- 30. For a history of Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason: The first formulations and their historical background; Francesco Piro.- 31. Innate ideas as the cornerstone of Leibniz's rationalism: The problem of moral principles in the Nouveaux essais; Hans Poser.- 32. Causa sive ratio: Univocity of reason and plurality of causes in Leibniz; Stefano Di Bella.- Index.